Some of the most can be found at Denver’s Oldest Cemetery. A group of businessman built Riverside Cemetery in 1876 after predicting the nearby Cheesman Park Cemetery would out grow its space. By taking a tour you will hear stories that radiate from the resting ground 135 years later.
You will learn about some of the most notable and historic people the state has ever known. Does Mount Evans and Evans Avenue sound familiar? John Evans, Colorado’s first territorial governor and also first elected governor is at rest here. So is the man who brought education to Denver, Owen J. Goldrickm who opened the first school between Larimer and Market streets. As well as heroes’ that have put their life on the line in the Civil, Mexican, Korean, WWWI, WWWII and Vietnam wars. It’s not just history but also mysteries at the cemetery. Find out which headstones are engraved with names but mysteriously have no one buried underneath them.
The art and architecture surrounding the cemetery is magnificent. Peek into three extravagant mausoleums, one of which housed bodies until they were identified. Find out why Riverside is home to the most pure zinc headstones in the country. Learn the significance behind a life-size stallion monument, The Baker Horse, or check out the ornate details on the Lester Drake mine cabin.
The cemetery became rundown over time but a program called the “Riverside Revival” is bringing the color back in. The adopt-a-block program allows groups ranging from Boy Scout troops to church groups to care for a plot of land. The Fairmont Heritage Foundation is also working with a horticulturist to restore the native landscape. In three years 20 percent of the Riverside Revitalization is complete. Volunteers have their hand in the success. The executive director of Fairmont Heritage Foundation Patricia Carmody says, “Shows you what people with passion can accomplish.”
he Riverside Cemetery is not just a place to hear history and mysteries but a place families can reconnect with loved ones and remember the impact others have left.
Fairmont Heritage Foundation offers a variety of tours and events at both cemeteries through the year. There are also spaces for volunteers.
Please visit fairmontheritagefoundation.org for the latest!
On November 11th at 1:00 is the Veteran’s Remembered at Riverside Cemetery tour.
Make sure you keep your senses turned on next Halloween to catch the Moonlight Mystery and History Tours. You will see the crematoriums as well as get your fill on unexplainable stories and the highlights of history.
Don’t stop your curiosity at Riverside, head over to Fairmont Cemetery where you can learn about more men and women who have shaped Colorado’s history. Here is the worlds largest arboretum and is home to over 200 roses that bloom starting in June. Notable people buried here are Emily Griffith, Frank Edbrooke and William Beyers.